Oxygen supply at Edendale Hospital runs low

2013-07-05 00:00

MINOR panic set in at Edendale Hospital yesterday with reports that the hospital had run out of oxygen.

Staff said many patients, especially those in the ICU, casualty and those who needed to be resuscitated, need oxygen when being attended to.

Concerned staff members told The Witness that they had realised yesterday morning that the hospital was without oxygen.

“I only noticed ... when I went to attend to my patients that there was no oxygen; it’s crazy,” one staff member said.

The source, who cannot be named for fear of victimisation, said some of the patients affected included those in casualty wards and those in the ICU.

“But I believe that the whole hospital has been affected.”

The source said that by yesterday, many of the patients that needed oxygen were being manually ventilated by the nurses.

However, Edendale Hospital PRO Samke Mncube said the shortage of oxygen in the hospital was not possible. “If something like that happened, the hospital would have to be closed down because of how important that is. We deal with patients and therefore anything that is related to a patient’s life is a priority. We can run out of stationery and many other things but not oxygen, that is something that could never be allowed to happen.”

She said recently, the Department of Health had changed the company that supplies them with oxygen from Afrox to Air Liquide.

“When the supplies were running low, the staff were worried … the tank is not supposed to be empty and is never empty. We also have back-up cylinders and no patients’ lives were at risk. The company that supplies the oxygen arrived at about 1 pm and everything was sorted out,” she said.

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